• 1.5kg stewing steak cut into 4-5cm chunks
  • 2 onions roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 2 sprigs of thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
  • 1 sprig of rosemary (or half tsp dried rosemary)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8-12 cloves
  • 1 x cinnamon stick (can be broken up to fit bouquet garni)
  • olive oil
  • I pack of good quality smoked streaky bacon
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour


  • STEP 1
    Put the beef into a large bowl add the onions, garlic and carrots. Pour over the red wine and stir together. Make a bouquet garni with the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon stick. I usually collect them all in a tied-up muslin wrapper. Insert into the middle of the bowl, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.
  • STEP 2
    When you are ready, tip the whole lot into a colander over a bowl and leave to drain well. reserving the wine, which will now have the aromas of the spices. Separate the pieces of meat from the rest of the ingredients and place them in a bowl with the flour and mix well, coating the meat with the flour.
  • STEP 3
    Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large flameproof casserole and in batches fry the meat until it takes on some colour moving to a plate.
  • STEP 4
    Add some more olive oil to the casserole, chop the bacon into 1cm pieces add to the pan and fry until golden and the bacon has released its fat.
  • STEP 5
    Add the separated vegetables to the casserole and fry until the onions have taken on a little colour.
  • STEP 6
    Return the beef to the casserole with the reserved wine marinade, grind plenty of black pepper into the pan, stir well, bring to a boil then turn the heat right down, cover and simmer for around 2 hours.
  • STEP 7
    When the beef is tender check the thickness of the sauce. If too thick add a little water, if too thin sieve a little flour into the stew to thicken. Serve with mashed potatoes.

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